The Greg Hill's got it. Haven't met Greg, but Day 2 on his signature skis confirmed the preliminary evaluation. Stoke uphill performance is exceptional. The light weight, 130 mm shovel, and 25 cm early rise tip helped set the uptrack really well in the mid-calf trail breaking on the upper reaches of Baumann's Bump yesterday.
Baumann's Bump, aka Max's, was blanketed with 6" fresh, unsettled snow resting on a soft base. The fresh snow sloughs were running ~500 feet vertical, and were stout enough to knock a man down. But, it skied like a dream.
The Stokes are so good, they can ride the hill all by themselves. Yours truly failed to fully engage my right toe binding, and it let go on a 35-degree slope. It didn't feel right after just a few turns, and as I was pulling up to check, it popped off, and ran.
And ran. And ran.
It was sadly fortunate that the slope was untracked and the lone ranger ski left a clear trail. Riding a single ski down that beautiful line with perfect snow was humbling, but finding my new 1/2 Stoke was such a relief. Why it stopped is a guess, but we found it tip-down stabbed in the snow up to the front binding. After our Save the Stoke mission, we made several more turns in the alpine bowl of Max's, and then rode the glade.
The Stokes seemed divine, but then just about any pair of planks would work in Max's snowpack, and perhaps the snowpack was divine and the Stokes are just great instruments to feel the divinity. Stokes felt absolutely perfect in the untracked.
Skiing tracks, the Stokes felt stable, but the Scarpa Spirit 3 felt a little lame, too soft. Can't recommend the Spirit 3/Stokes combination for a lot of resort skiing. But, for the untracked experience, the combination was excellent. And after all, why ski tracks?